Four months after a Swiss tourist was robbed and gangraped, a fast-track court in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh today awarded life imprisonment to all the six convicts in the sensational case.
Pronouncing the judgement, Additional District Judge Jitendra Sharma also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on each of the convicts.
While five convicts Baba, Bhutha, Rampro, Gaza alias Brajesh and Vishnu Kanjar were handed down life term for rape, the sixth accused Nitin (Rishi) Kanjar was given life imprisonment on the charge of dacoity, said DIG (Chambal Range) D K Arya.
All the convicts are residents of Kanjar Tola settlement in Jharia village, located about 2 kms from the spot where the victim was raped.
The sentence was prescribed under section 376 (rape), 395 (punishment for dacoity) of the IPC, sections 12 and 14 of the Anti-Dacoity Act and under Arms Act.
The 39-year-old Swiss woman, on a cycling trip along with her companion, was gangraped at a forest area near Sewda road in Datia district on March 15 where they had camped for the night while proceeding to Agra.
Datia police had filed a chargesheet on March 26 without conducting any test identification parade (TIP) of the accused and the trial started on March 30.
The DIG said that recording statement of the victim was the major challenge for the prosecution as she had gone back to Switzerland after filing the complaint.
He said that DGP Nandan Dube and IG (Chambal Range) S M Afzal spoke to the Switzerland's Ambassador and convinced the authorities to ensure the victim's presence in the court.
Later, her statements were recorded via video-conferencing by a special commission headed by the
metropolitan magistrate of Patiala Hous Court, Akash Jain on May 25.
The Commission recorded her statement in the Swiss Embassy while the accused were present at Datia collectorate.
The DIG informed that the Madhya Pradesh government had sanctioned Rs 8.5 lakh towards travel cost of the victim.
The incident had come just three months after the December 16 brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old para medical student in the national capital, which had sparked national outrage.